Blind Man's Bluff

The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage


By Sherry Sontag

By Christopher Drew

With Annette Lawrence Drew

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 5, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A New York Times bestseller
The secret history of America's submarine warfare is revealed for the first time in this fast-paced and deeply researched chronicle of adventure and intrigue during the Cold War

For decades, only a select and powerful few knew the truth about the submarines that silently roamed the ocean in danger and in stealth, seeking information and advantage. Based on six years of groundbreaking investigation into the “silent service,” Blind Man’s Bluff uncovers an epic story of adventure, courage, victory, and disaster beneath the surface. With an unforgettable array of characters from the Cold War to the twenty-first century, Sontag and Drew recount scenes of secrecy from Washington, DC, to the depths of the sea. A magnificent achievement in investigative reporting, Blind Man’s Bluff reads like a spy thriller with one important difference: everything is true.
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  • "Packed with real life adventures that Tom Clancy could only have guessed at. . . . More than a collection of sea stories. It reveals how submarine operations during the cold war had a profound impact on strategic decisions made in the Kremlin and Washington. . . . With Naval agents on their heels . . . Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew have made a successful end run around stacks of secrecy oaths and the locked lips of the Silent Service to make public some of the most astounding military operations of the cold war. . . . Lock the doors and draw the shades, because this book is a well written, highly readable account of man and machine working together to do the impossible for the highest of stakes."
    Washington Monthly
  • "Vividly told, impressively documented, and persuasively argued."
    New York Times
  • "The book is filled with specifics . . . but thankfully not presented in the dry techno-speak of many military histories. This one is very human and easy to read."
    Washington Post
  • "The veterans of the 'Silent Service' are silent no more."
    John Lehman, former secretary of the Navy, Wall Street Journal
  • "A tale that has the Navy refusing to comment and retired submariners rejoicing that their story is finally being told. . . . Espionage missions described in this book are among the most sensitive and secret intelligence operations of the cold war. Most have never been described in detail, if at all, and the Navy to this day refuses to acknowledge them publicly."
    Associated Press
  • "Gripping."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "It's almost impossible to make up stuff this good."
    John Weisman, author of the Rogue Warrior Series
  • "Excellent history . . . that reads like a Tom Clancy novel."
  • "Hard-core investigative reporting at its crispest. . . . The stories are exciting, the personalities border on the eccentric, and the constant turf battles among various U.S. government agencies in those often top-secret submarine activities make for intriguing reading."
    Library Journal
  • "Exciting."
    Denver Post
  • "Strong stuff! . . . Highly recommended. . . . A compelling testimony to the courage and ingenuity of the submariners and the intelligence wizards and operators who made use of this weapon during the cold war and up to this day."
    Roy Jonkers, AFIO Executive Director, AFIO's Weekly Intelligence Notes
  • "As exciting as early Tom Clancy novels . . . engrossing. . . . Highly recommended for everyone with an interest in submarines or intelligence."
    Sea Power
  • "An immensely readable look at some of the blackest secrets of the cold war, as U.S. and Soviet subs engage in subterfuge as intriguing as a thriller novel."
    Providence Journal-Bulletin
  • "Impressive . . . The authors managed to capture the flavor of submarine life, the innovation and ingenuity of men who have to fix complex equipment when there is no supply line, the command structure that seems casual to an outsider but which works better in an undersea environment than the more rigid arrangements on surface or shore commands."
    The Day (New London, CT)
  • "The most comprehensive look at the work of these intrepid sailors . . . A celebration of their ingenuity and valor."
    Baltimore Sun
  • "The authors write of top-secret operations to tap underwater Soviet cables, recover a live H-bomb mistakenly lost on the ocean floor, and steal a Russian sub. Better yet, all of it is true- and revealed on these pages for the first time."
    Investor's Business Daily

On Sale
Apr 5, 2016
Page Count
448 pages

Sherry Sontag

About the Author

Sherry Sontag is a former staff writer for the National Law Journal and has written for the New York Times.

Christopher Drew is a special projects editor at the New York Times and has won numerous awards for his investigative reporting.

Annette Lawrence Drew, the book’s researcher, has a PhD from Princeton.

Learn more about this author